The Business Confucius Institute Celebrate Lunar New Year

University House was buzzing with excitement as guests celebrated the Lunar New Year with the Business Confucius Institute at the University of Leeds.

Business Confucius Institute Celebrate Lunar New Year

On 8th February University House was buzzing with Chinese New Year excitement, as guests arrived to celebrate the festival at a business networking dinner organised by the Business Confucius Institute at the University of Leeds.

The Lunar New Year is the most important festival in the Chinese calendar, and a time to get together with family to celebrate. In a business context, this time of year is also an opportunity to celebrate the success of the previous year with colleagues and clients, further strengthening the关系 (guanxi – relationships) that are at the core of doing business in China.

Leeds has strong links with China, and the Business Confucius Institute at the University of Leeds (BCI) works within the University and in the wider Leeds City Region to develop and support these links. The annual Yorkshire and Humber Lunar New Year Dinner aims to bring together representatives of firms and organisations engaged with China to network, celebrate the success of the previous year, and build relationships to set the foundations for further success in the coming year.

“the food, entertainment, atmosphere, and speeches were all excellent”

Special guests who came to welcome the Year of the Dog at the University of Leeds this year included University of Leeds Vice-Chancellor Sir Alan Langlands; Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Jane Dowson; and Minister Counsellor Mr Jin Xu from the Chinese Embassy.

Sir Alan Langlands spoke of the University’s long history of teaching Chinese; the large community of Chinese students and alumni; and the joint engineering school with South West Jiaotong University in Chengdu, as well as praising the work of the BCI to contribute to the University’s international agenda.

Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Jane Dowson said:

“I am very proud of the strong connections which this city has to China – the city twinning between Leeds and Hangzhou which dates back almost 30 years, the many academic and research partnerships which our universities have forged throughout China, the links between cultural organisations, not to mention the many business partnerships which many of us are working so hard to nurture.”

Minister Counsellor Mr Jin Xu entertained guests with his speech, also full of good wishes for business success in the Year of the Dog.

The after-dinner speech was given by Matthew Rose, Executive Director of the China-Britain Business Council.

University of Leeds conference venue University House was adorned with red lanterns, red table dressings, and decorations showing the Chinese character 福 (fu), which means ‘good fortune’ and is commonly seen at this special time of year. Delicate papercuts of the Chinese character 春 (chun, meaning spring) hung from the centrepieces on each table.

Performances on the pipa and the guzheng filled the room with the delicate sounds of traditional Chinese instruments, and guests were treated to traditional dances that also provided an unmistakeable Chinese flavour.

After the speeches, performances, and a three-course dinner from the University House catering team, guests took full advantage of the opportunity to continue the conversations at their table and network with other attendees around the room.

Afterwards, one attendee praised the “wonderful atmosphere, great company, and high quality food”, and another said “the food, entertainment, atmosphere, and speeches were all excellent”.